The NULL Solution = Final Episode

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The NULL Solution = Episode 198

the H1N8 Pandemic of 2046 is still fresh in their minds, not to mention African Ebola and Zika viruses that will not go away…

Stardate 2060 Earth

“The World Health Organization has decided that you must land at Harmonia, at least until a proper incubation period has passed.” Roy Crippen gives the bad news to the passengers aboard NEWFOUNDLANDER. They have penetrated the outer limits of the Terran System and were looking forward to a GLF landing. Francine is by his side, as passionate of a bystander as possible, waist-deep in the controversy.

“You have to be kidding! It turns out Joyner has seen some nice improvement. His body was missing the excessive humidity at home. We have been weaning his wet bulb tolerance down by 2% per week,” Celeste explains.

“Francine hasn’t been able to sell WHO on your findings and they are looking for 100% verification of baseline indicators… the H1N8 Pandemic of 2046 is still fresh in their minds, not to mention African Ebola and Zika viruses that will not go away. And how about the anti-vaxxer farce, the world hasn’t recovered from that one?”

“We are talking about the possible dehydration of a half-human adolescent, not some smallpox-infected-adopted child from a 3rd World country!”

“There is no more 3rd World, remember? You have to stay 30 days on Mars, followed by six months in quarantine at an isolation clinic we’re building at GLF. You have to consider, Cerella & Joyner will be the first aliens to live on Earth…”

“… that we know of Crip, c’mon, we know the real truth. Eridanus was snooping around the B.C. Egyptians for years… if anything, they were killed by something they picked up from Cleopatra.”

“Not to mention what Lorgan has been up to.”

Lorgan… now that’s another story.”

 

THE END

 

Copyright © 2018 by Gwendolyn K Hoff   All Rights Reserved

Thank you for reading. Tune in tomorrow for a peek into what is next.


The NULL Solution =

Episode 198


page 192

The NULL Solution = Episode 198 – The End

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The NULL Solution = Episode 198

the H1N8 Pandemic of 2046 is still fresh in their minds, not to mention African Ebola and Zika viruses that will not go away…

Stardate 2060 Earth

“The World Health Organization has decided that you must land at Harmonia, at least until a proper incubation period has passed.” Roy Crippen gives the bad news to the passengers aboard NEWFOUNDLANDER. They have penetrated the outer limits of the Terran System and were looking forward to a GLF landing. Francine is by his side, as passionate of a bystander as possible, waist-deep in the controversy.

“You have to be kidding! It turns out Joyner has seen some nice improvement. His body was missing the excessive humidity at home. We have been weaning his wet bulb tolerance down by 2% per week,” Celeste explains.

“Francine hasn’t been able to sell WHO on your findings and they are looking for 100% verification of baseline indicators… the H1N8 Pandemic of 2046 is still fresh in their minds, not to mention African Ebola and Zika viruses that will not go away. And how about the anti-vaxxer farce, the world hasn’t recovered from that one?”

“We are talking about the possible dehydration of a half-human adolescent, not some smallpox-infected-adopted child from a 3rd World country!”

“There is no more 3rd World, remember? You have to stay 30 days on Mars, followed by six months in quarantine at an isolation clinic we’re building at GLF. You have to consider, Cerella & Joyner will be the first aliens to live on Earth…”

“… that we know of Crip, c’mon, we know the real truth. Eridanus was snooping around the B.C. Egyptians for years… if anything, they were killed by something they picked up from Cleopatra.”

“Not to mention what Lorgan has been up to.”

Lorgan… now that’s another story.”

 

THE END

 

Copyright © 2018 by Gwendolyn K Hoff   All Rights Reserved

Thank you for reading. Tune in tomorrow for a peek into what is next.


The NULL Solution =

Episode 198


page 192

The NULL Solution = Episode 197

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The NULL Solution = Episode 197

…I believe that the McKinneys are seriously concerned about bringing back a viral agent that may be able to morph into a pandemic on Earth…

Crip may want to run this by the decontamination team.”

“The kid just needs a stiff shot of caffeine. That will perk him up!”

“We cannot take the chance. You message Roy while I do some lab work.”

As it would happen, the message meant for the director of NASA seeps into the cracks of bureaucracy and into the hands of a snotty-nosed underling.

-He reads.

THERE IS SOMETHING WRONG WITH JOYNER. NOT EXACTLY SURE WHAT IT IS. CELESTE IS LOOKING INTO POSSIBLE LINK TO BUG THAT KILLED THE CREW ON MARS, WAY BACK WHEN. SEE YOU SOON – SAM

-He reacts.

Instead of delivering the {For Your Eyes Only} message to Roy Crippen, who would keep it under his hat for the sake of secrecy, the staffer shares it his colleagues while he is on his morning break. “Look at this, guys,” he proudly flashes the rare communication from the returning McKinney mission, “you don’t see one of these every day… it’s from Sampson McKinney himself!”

He thought he was reading about a little insect bite or something. The breakroom sees it differently, especially the medical officer in charge of infectious space threats.

“I’ve read about the 2030 Tycho/Space Colony 1 mission… they never were able to isolate the precise cause of the alien disaster. You don’t lose 50+ crewmen and ignore the cause. I believe that the McKinneys are seriously concerned about bringing back a viral agent that may be able to morph into a pandemic on Earth.”

“That is some farfetched theory, man.”

“Hey, do you want two aliens coming to Earth and spreading a deadly disease?” The room goes silent. “It’s my job to prevent such things and that’s what I am going to do!”

The horses have just got out of the barn.

By the time Roy tries closing the barn door, it is too late. Varying forms of Sam McKinney’s cautionary tale explode across every single known Internet medium and then some. And just like the Collapsar Axis invasion/panic/narrative, anti-alien sentiment suddenly trumps the feel-good homecoming story.


The NULL Solution =

Episode 197


page 191

The NULL Solution = Episode 196

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The NULL Solution = Episode 196

…“Maybe space sickness took a while to set in?”…

CHAPTER TWENTY-TWO

Unwelcomed Home

In the midst of the long way home, young Joyner has indeed come down with something. 4 out of 5 doctors do not have a clue; the other 1’s license is expired.

The otherwise warm & fuzzy homecoming story has threatened to bury the lead.

With each passing parsec, Joyner McKinney drops further below his baseline of perfect health. “Listless” is definitely not a word used to describe his countenance, but listless he is. Outward symptoms like a runny nose or an upset stomach, Does Not Apply to his Eridanian half. Any illness at all will be his first. Lethargic will have to do for now.

On Eridanus, wellbeing is a given. Near immortality promotes an invulnerable attitude and rightfully so. “Pert’near immortal” is the new moniker that Sampson McKinney has attached to the Eridanian condition, especially since the passing of Ekcello. His vested interest in Joyner dampens this certain set of circumstances, “Maybe space sickness took a while to set in?

While the effects of space affect everyone differently, Celeste is the closest thing to a medical officer on this ship. She begs to differ, “No, I don’t think so Sam. He was given a complete physical before we left. He checked out just fine.”

She has had ample time to observe her grandson. Not once has there ever been a solitary reason to panic… up until now. She has been hesitant to raise an almost unthinkable theory about his health. In the privacy of her and Sam’s cabin, she shares her theory.

“I am wondering if the same “bug” that did in the original crew of NEWFOUNDLANDER is what is causing Joyner to feel bad. There were a couple bodies on the bridge when we found it.” They must confront the facts, no matter how unsavory. “He is ½ Eridanian after all, just a thought.”

“Skaldy wasn’t sick when he was summoned to Harmonia.”

“As far as I know, the Null have greater resistance to outside influences like germs and such. I am going to scour this ship for any signs of a harmful agent, something that we either overlooked or have not been an issue until this voyage. In the meantime, you better send a message off to Earth. Crip may want to run this by Decon 1.”


The NULL Solution =

Decon 1

Episode 196


page 190

The NULL Solution = Episode 112

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The NULL Solution = Episode 112

…Celeste is convinced that her husband is not the master of malapropisms; he just doesn’t give a hoot…

After an adjustment period, Cerella readapts to and her son is introduced to a world without livestock, barbeques and droughts.

In the short time it takes to make a TSF roundtrip, Eridanus’ security status has changed. The bigger news arrives from the Triangulum Galaxy via Chasonn; Collapsar Axis has passed by and it is headed to Epsilon Eridani’s system, in the middle of Orion’s Belt.

Letter writer to the Earthlings, Celeste McKinney and former Null, Skaldic have been holding down the fort, the latter becoming fixated not by his Giftedness or the looming gargantuan, but rather the riddle that continues to stump everyone and everything.

“Chasonn seems to think we are in danger, Sam. Take a look at the images of that Ÿ€Ð dreadnought…, inside and out it looks like trouble.”

“It’s also moving like a slug, Cel, for crying out loud! Don’t we have our hands full with little Joyner or even O?”

“I believe I am close to solving the riddle,” Skaldic interjects.

“See? Even Skaldy isn’t concerned about that planet on wheels.”

“What is it about the unattainable that is so attractive to you men?”

“Cerella has told Deke that NASA has given O a name – Lorgan – is what they call it. That means they know it may be connected to that riddle. Don’t you think Gussy and Roy are hard at work on solving it? Maybe it’s not the Selljunk’s business. ”

“I give up.” He cannot keep alien names straight.

“Don’t worry, we’ll keep an eye out for that Collapsed Axle.

Collapsar Axis and those friends of ours are not the Sell Junk!” Celeste is convinced that her husband is not the master of malapropisms; he just doesn’t give a hoot. “I thought you liked Chasonn?”

“He’s okay… a little jumpy, but okay.” Sam yields.

“Then you better respect his judgement. When he says jump, you better.” Celeste is solemn in projecting her resolve. “And you will leave Deke alone for a cycle? He needs time with his family.”

“I hear you Cel. I’ll keep an eye on that intrusive slug and Skaldy will work on the “Harmonica Query”.  Harmonica-Harmonia, what’s the big diff? “And yes, if you can keep him tethered in Cerella’s tower, Deker can get to know that little firecracker of his… Joyner sure seems to have the McKinney smarts.”


The NULL Solution =

Episode 112


page 111

The NULL Solution = Episode 110

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The NULL Solution = Episode 110

…In a fashion, much like the members of the ancient NEWFOUNDLANDER crew, the Defender makes off with valuable Earth treasure…

Sampson & Son have not seen the Heinlein’s Green Hills of Earth for a very long time. Cruising handily past 6 planetary orbits and beneath a crescent moon, the alien spacecraft named Defender silently glides down next to the homestead both men have been longing to see. For Sam it has been 24 years, for Deke, his 4 years seems like an eternity.

Aside from remodeling, updating and a brand new barn, locating Cerella and Joyner was relatively easy. To avoid from alarming Roy, Francine, Gus, Mindy and Marscie is priority one. Doing so would unnecessarily complicate the operation by upsetting Earth’s timestem, as well as the King Ranch equilibrium.

Deke McKinney barely recognizes his earthen-ized mate, who he suspects had suspected such a mission would come to pass, even after her parapsychological ties were severed by the birth of their son. She had told Joyner many stories of his father and the planet from which they came, seeing that the worlds are as opposite as opposite can be.

As Deke hugs him for the first time, Cerella explains to the child, who is sprouting like a weed, “There will be time to acquaint after we return to Eridanus. Remember your experience here with fondness, my son. The emotional ties of these people is strong, to be treasured for all time.”

Sam has wandered off to the west wing to have a gander at his other grandchild. How could he resist the temptation? It takes every ounce of his strength not to wake Gus’s sleeping Marscie. He cannot help but lament the circumstances that caused the Space Family McKinney to be separated by trillions of miles, not just another wing of the sprawling ranch home, but he does.

In a fashion, much like the members of the ancient NEWFOUNDLANDER crew, the Defender makes off with valuable Earth treasure, this time in the form of living creatures. However, on this occasion, the aliens leave behind a calling card, in the form of Celeste McKinney’s love/”kidnapping” note, discovered by Francine Bouchette-Crippen, on the island counter in the main kitchen at King Ranch, in Waller County Texas USA. She is up early to make breakfast. There will be two less place settings on this most melancholy of mornings.


The NULL Solution =

Episode 110


page 109

The NULL Solution = Episode 108

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The NULL Solution = Episode 108

I speak for all of us when I tell you that we long for the day when we can all be together again – Celeste McKinney writes to those on Earth…

Longing by Kinga Britschgi

— The pioneering spirit, that which has been withheld on Eridanus for countless cycles, is breathed into the circuitry of Defender. The Null mystery component turns out to be the puzzle piece they were looking for. The ancient ship will once again knife its way through time and space as if it were the bellows of an accordion; expanding to slow down and squeezing together to expedite the distance between point A to point B.

This time around, it will be the McKinneys, Sampson and Deke who blast past several stars and the recently well-worn path to Earth, sans the previous fateful Mars detour. The “Harmonia Query” has been set aside in favor of Cerella’s homecoming. For the sake of universal congruity, the 2-man expeditionary force must conduct themselves like a S.W.A.T. team. A simple in and out will have to do. No time is allotted for a family reunion or NASA debriefing, at least not yet.

There is one concession and that comes in the form of a letter, penned by Celeste. To be left behind by her guys, it reads:

Dearest Gus, Mindy, Roy & Francine;

 By now you have noticed that Princess Cerella and her child are missing. Do not fret. They are coming home to the people who care for them most. Deke will see his son for the first time. Cerella’s father Ekcello has been uncharacteristically dismayed by the fear that they would be stranded on Earth.

Sam & Deke would love to stay and chat, but in order for them to resist the temptation to sojourn, a.k.a. not come back to us here, they must return posthaste.

I speak for all of us when I tell you that we long for the day when we can all be together again. But the path to that end is littered with complications that none of us can resolve soon enough. Be secure in that knowledge, as well as our abiding love. ‘til we are together once more.

Thank you for caring for the “cherished of Eridanus” and do not stop reaching for the stars.

 For Sampson, Deke & Deimostra,

 Celeste M

Stardate 2054 has been one phantasm after another.


The NULL Solution =

Episode 108


page 108 (end ch. 9)